The recent situation with the virus sees us pulling together as a society in new and unexpected ways. But social distancing and other measures don’t need to put a dampener on learning. In fact, a routine as simple as handwashing is the perfect opportunity to help your child with their therapy goals!
For younger children, washing hands for 30 seconds can feel like 30 years unless they have something fun to distract themselves with. Singing songs is known to increase early talkers’ receptive and expressive language skills. Therapists often sing songs with children to stimulate language development.
While you’re helping your toddler or early talker learn about hand hygiene, you can also play around with well-known nursery rhymes such as ‘This is the Way We Wash Our Hands’ and even ‘Wheels on the Bus’. Throwing in some gestures such as wipers on the bus going swish swish swish is 10x more fun with soapy water and sloshing hands.
If your child is a bit older, they may be working on language concepts. Once again, hand washing is an optimum opportunity to learn about early concept vocabulary (e.g. dry, wet, damp) as well as higher level vocabulary (e.g. hygienic, unhygienic, sanitised, thermometer). You wouldn’t believe the amount of kids who didn’t know what a thermometer was before last month.
For curious older children and adolescents, take the opportunity to really explain what new and unusual words such as pandemic and infection actually mean. You may be surprised by their faulty or accurate interpretation of these technical, subject-specific words. Ask them to give you a definition and then support their learning with corrections (yes parent homework may be required in this case!)
From all the team at Total Communication we wish you and your family stay safe and well at this time.